Thursday, June 30, 2022

1973 – Sutcliffe Out; Jones Wins Knoxville

Bubby Jones of Danville, Ill., is congratulated by Knoxville Raceway promoter Marion Robinson of Des Moines after Jones won his first career winged sprint car feature at the historic half-mile oval. - Beetle Bailey Photo

Knoxville, Iowa (June 30, 1973) – Bubby Jones of Danville, Ill., took advantage of Dick Sutcliffe’s mechanical problems to win the “Spring Nationals” sprint car feature race Saturday night at the Marion County Fairgrounds.

Jones won by three car lengths over Roger Larson of Solomon, Kan., in a record time of 10 minutes and 39.76 seconds for the 30-lap race on the half-mile dirt track.

Sutcliffe, shooting for his fourth straight feature win at Knoxville, charged to the front on lap 5 and stayed there until lap 15 when drive line problems forced him to the sidelines.

Jones took over from there and led the remaining 10 circuits for his first-ever victory at the historic track. He averaged 84.8 miles per hour to capture the $1,000 top prize before a crowd of 6,285.

His time broke the record previously held by Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., who finished third in the contest.

Results –

Time trials – Dick Sutcliffe, Greenwood, Mo. (20.32)
Heat #1 – Jon Backlund, Kansas City
Heat #2 – Harold Gutknecht Jr., Pleasantville
Heat #3 – Larry Kirkpatrick, Wood River, Ill.
Heat #4 – Stacy Redmond, Mason City
B-main – Jon Backlund
Feature –
1. Bubby Jones, Danville, Ill.
2. Roger Larson, Solomon, Kan.
3. Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
4. Darryl Dawley, Sioux Falls, S.D.
5. Lonnie Jensen, Lincoln, Neb.
6. Thad Dosher, Topeka, Kan.
7. Earl Wagner, Pleasantville
8. Ray Lee Goodwin, Kansas City
9. Jon Backlund
10.Larry Kirkpatrick

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

1975 – Reffner Wins Pepsi 200

Tom Reffner

Oregon, Wis. (June 29, 1975) - Tom Reffner of Rudolph showed what to do when the brakes go out Sunday, winning the 100-lap feature of the Pepsi 200 at the Capitol Super Speedway.

The event, sponsored by the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of Madison, consisted of two 50-lap races, a 20-lap consolation race and a hobby stock feature in addition to the 100-lap feature.

Reffner didn’t confine himself to the feature event. He opened the day timing in fastest with a 19.295-second clocking in a 1974 Javelin.

Then, after sitting out the first 50-lap race, Reffner came back to capture the second after a tight battle with Joe Ruttman of Dearborn, Mich., who slid into the wall on the 33rd lap when his brakes went out.

The 100-lap feature saw Bill Retallick of Marshall jump into an early lead in his 1969 Camaro with Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids and his 1973 Mustang close on his heels.

Trickle slid into the lead on the fifth lap and held it through the 40th as the field began to thin out behind him.

John Speers retired to the pits with mechanical trouble on the 18th lap and Fred Bender followed him a lap later. Reffner bided his time back in the pack.

John Ziegler of Madison moved up to third with his 1974 Camaro on the 22nd lap and held it through John Reimer’s accident on the 24th and the ensuing 13 laps under the yellow flag.

He pulled into second on the 37th lap and three laps later moved into the lead.

Reffner, meanwhile, was also moving up, grabbing the third spot on the 41st lap and second on the next. By the 48th lap, Reffner had his Javelin on Ziegler’s bumper, a position he held for the next 20 laps.

He finally eased past Ziegler and into the lead on the 60th lap, holding it through the finish although losing his brakes on lap 80.

John Reimer of Caledonia and his 1978 Camaro won the first 50-lap race, Necedah’s Jim Sauter and his 1969 Camaro the 20-lap consolation and Bart Kerman the hobby stock feature.

Results –

Feature #1 (50 Laps)

1. John Reimer, Caledonia
2. Tony Strupp, Slinger
3. Doug Strasburg, Johnson Creek
4. Jim Pierson, Milton
5. Don James, Bloomington, Minn.

Feature #2 (50 Laps)

1. Tom Reffner, Rudolph
2. Joe Shear, South Beloit, Ill.
3. Dave Watson, Milton
4. Bill Retallick, Marshall
5. John Knaus, Rockford, Ill.

Feature #3 (100 Laps)

1. Tom Reffner
2. John Ziegler, Madison
3. Joe Shear
4. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids
5. Tom Musgrave, Janesville
6. Dave Watson, Beloit
7. Doug Strasburg
8. Gary Hemmerling, Milton
9. Don James
10.John Knaus

Monday, June 27, 2022

1968 - Prymek Is Mid-Season Champ at Columbus Junction

Columbus Junction, Iowa (June 27, 1968) – Ron Prymek of Iowa City, Iowa, won the second mid-season championship feature event of the Mississippi Valley Speed Club on Friday night.

Bud Darting of Wilton, Iowa, finished a close second to Prymek in the main event. Bill Newman of Burlington, Iowa, took third, John Moss of Iowa City was fourth and Mark Mosier of Washington, Iowa, rounded out the top five.

Mel Morris, the mid-season champion at West Liberty last weekend, turned in the fastest time, touring the big half-mile in 28.72 seconds. Stan Crooks of Muscatine, Iowa, was second fastest at 28.87 seconds.

Wahlee Brown of Rock Island, Ill., came from the back row to win the trophy dash. Morris would win the first heat while Tom Harris of Iowa City scored the win in the second heat. Crooks took top honors in heat three and Prymek was the fourth heat winner. Ralph Ericson of Lockridge, Iowa, was the consolation winner.

Results –

1. Ron Prymek, Iowa City, Iowa
2. Bud Darting, Wilton, Iowa
3. Bill Newman, Burlington, Iowa
4. John Moss, Iowa City, Iowa
5. Mark Mosier, Washington, Iowa
6. Tom Harris, Iowa City, Iowa
7. Bob Helm, Rochester, Iowa
8. Stan Crooks, Muscatine, Iowa
9. Ron Hemsted, Lone Tree, Iowa
10.Larry Jenkins, Wilton Junction, Iowa
11.Gary Redlinger, Keota, Iowa
12.Pokey West, West Chester, Iowa

Sunday, June 26, 2022

1960 – Branson, Jones First in Milwaukee Sprints

Don Branson (1) and Parnelli Jones (51) battle it out on the Milwaukee Mile.

West Allis, Wis. (June 26, 1960) – Don Branson, Champaign, Ill., averaged a record 101.50 miles per hour on Sunday afternoon to win the second of two 50-mile sprint car races at the one-mile Wisconsin State Fair Park Speedway before a crowd of 5,747.

Parnelli Jones, Gardena, Calif., won the first event, slowed by three cautions, with an average speed of 94.496 miles per hour.

Jones was the fastest qualifier with a speed of 105.2 miles per hour.

Branson took the lead in the second race at the end of 37 miles when both he and A.J. Foyt of Houston, Tex., passed the early leader. Jones would later re-pass Foyt to finish second.

Elmer George, Indianapolis, making his first start in a United States Auto Club even since his reinstatement a week ago, was fourth in the second 50-miler and Leon Clum, Wapakoneta, Ohio, finished fifth.

In the first race, Branson was second behind Jones, followed by George, Foyt and Tony Bettenhausen, Tinley Park, Ill.

The program was the first sprint car races there since 1949.

Involved in the three spinouts on the north turn, each of which caused the caution light to be on for five minutes, were Johnny Thomson of Boyertown, Penn., Jim Hurtubise, Lennox, Calif., and Jim Packard, Indianapolis.

There were no injuries despite the fact that each driver hit the wall.

Packard, however, was able to continue and finished 16th. Hurtubise replaced Gene Hartman after 31 miles and finished 18th.

Branson and Jones each received $1,224 from the $7,500 purse.

Results –

Feature #1 –

1. Parnelli Jones
2. Don Branson
3. Elmer George
4. A.J. Foyt
5. Tony Bettenhausen
6. Roger McCluskey
7. Bud Tingelstad
8. Bill Cheesbourg
9. Lloyd Ruby
10.Ronnie Duman
11.Leon Clum
12.Cotton Farmer
13.Bruce Jacobi
14.Jack Rounds
15.Al Miller
16.Jim Packard
17.Dick Rathmann
18.Gene Hartley
19.Jim McWithey
20.Johnny White
21.Jim Hurtubise
22.Johnny Thomson

Feature #2 –

1. Don Branson
2. Parnelli Jones
3. A.J. Foyt
4. Elmer George
5. Leon Clum
6. Jim Hurtubise
7. Bud Tingelstad
8. Roger McCluskey
9. Bill Cheesbourg
10.Dick Rathmann
11.Ronnie Duman
12.Bruce Jacobi
13.Jack Rounds
14.Cotton Farmer
15.Dave Lee
16.Lloyd Ruby
17.Al Miller
18.Jim Packard
19.Tony Bettenhausen

Friday, June 24, 2022

1975 – Sanger wins Minnesota – Iowa Challenge

Promoter Jim Hermel (upper left) congratulates Ed Sanger, after the Waterloo, Iowa, hot shoe won the Minnesota – Iowa Challenge at Chateau Speedway. Sanger’s crew joins in the celebration. 

Lansing, Minn. (June 24, 1975) – Ed Sanger of Waterloo, Iowa, won the annual Minnesota – Iowa Challenge special at Chateau Speedway on Tuesday night.

Sanger bested a field of 48 late models entered from Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Over 2,800 spectators watched as drivers vied for the $4,000 plus purse. Sanger, who started on the outside of the second row as a result of his heat win, grabbed the lead early in the 30-lap contest and never looked back in collecting the $600 first-place money.

Wendell Kuehn of Rochester came in second with Leon Plank of Eau Claire, Wis., taking third, with all three drivers representing all three states entered in the event.

Results –

Heat #1 – Roger Klingfus, Waterloo, Iowa
Heat #2 – Jack Harder, St. Paul
Heat #3 – Steve Keppler, Marion, Iowa
Heat #4 – Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
Semi-main – Earl Tice, Ames, Iowa
Feature –
1. Ed Sanger
2. Wendell Kuehn, Rochester
3. Leon Plank, Eau Claire, Wis.
4. Red Dralle, Evansdale, Iowa
5. Jack Harder
6. Rich Olson, Rochester
7. Steve Keppler
8. Mert Williams, Rochester
9. Dave Noble, Blooming Prairie
10.Darrell Zweifel, Rochester

Thursday, June 23, 2022

1972 – Mid-Season Title to Zwanziger

Bill Zwanziger admires his trophy after winning the mid-season title at Cedar Rapids. 

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (June 23, 1972) – Hard-charging Bill Zwanziger captured the 30-lap mid-season spectacular for late model stock cars amid a bit of controversy Friday night at Hawkeye Downs.

Zwanziger and Ed Sanger had different opinions on how it all came about, in one of the most closely contested duels on the half-mile dirt oval this season.

The season’s biggest crowd of 4,173 watched Sanger, the polesitter on the basis of being the point leader – lead for 26 laps before spinning out on the fourth turn of lap 27.

What took place created the controversy between the two pilots from Waterloo.

“Zwanziger spun me,” claimed Sanger. “There was no excuse for it. I had the high groove, and he knew there was nowhere to go down low because of the mud there.”

No, I didn’t get crossways – not until Bill hit me! And he hit me hard enough there was no saving it.”

Zwanziger didn’t see it that way.

“Ed hit a hole and came crossways,” he explained. “I put on the brakes – hard – and tried to miss him, but I tapped his rear end. I couldn’t help it.”

Whatever, the spin cost Sanger four places and Zwanziger sailed home scot-free in his 1970 Chevy. His triumph, Bill’s first feature of the campaign at the Downs, was worth $500.

Zwanziger made it evident that he was to be reckoned with from the sixth lap on. He, Keokuk’s Ramo Stott, and Iowa City’s John Moss were all in hot pursuit of Sanger and not much more than a quarter car length separated the quartet.

That trio fought for second place until the 23rd lap when Zwanziger took over for good.

“I could get under them (Stott, Moss), but the groove was up high, and they yanked me coming out of the turns. There were some holes in both corners, but my car works better in that situation.”

“I think it’s to my advantage because I can run through them.”

Three 1970 Plymouths trailed Zwanziger across the finish line. Moss was second, followed by Marion’s Fred Horn, who made a move on Stott with two laps left to claim third while Stott settled for fourth.

Sanger switched to his brother Karl’s 1964 Chevy for the feature because his pistons were burning out on his 1970 Monte Carlo. Karl Drove the Monte Carlo for the feature but retired after 19 laps.

Zwanziger also copped the Australian Pursuit while Washington’s Ron Perdock topped the semi-main. Heat winners were Stott, Cedar Rapids’ Bill McDonough, and Dysart’s Bob Hilmer.

Martelle’s Jerry Hull won the 10-lap street stock feature for the third time this season.

Results –

Heat #1 – Bob Hilmer, Dysart
Heat #2 – Bill McDonough, Cedar Rapids
Heat #3 – Ramo Stott, Keokuk
Semi – Ron Perdock, Washington
Australian Pursuit – Bill Zwanziger, Waterloo
Feature –
1. Bill Zwanziger
2. John Moss, Iowa City
3. Fred Horn, Marion
4. Ramo Stott
5. Ed Sanger, Waterloo
6. Ron Perdock
7. Bob Hilmer
8. Chuck Wicher, Cedar Rapids
9. Walt Carney, West Branch
10.Al Mayner, Winthrop

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

1999 - Aukland Makes Last Lap Pass at Davenport

Rick Aukland (center) scored a last-lap victory in the Hav-A-Tampa Dirt Racing Series event at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds. He's joined by runner-up Scott Bloomquist (right) and third place finisher Steve Francis (left). - Chuck Gonzalez Photo

Davenport, Iowa (June 22, 1999) – Rick Aukland of Fargo, N.D., led only one lap during the 50-lap United Dirt Track Racing Association (UDTRA) Hav-A-Tampa Dirt Racing Series event at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds, but it was the last one, and it was worth $10,000.

Aukland made a last lap pass for the lead over Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., for the win. Bloomquist had led the first 49 circuits, but the three-time and defending Hav-A-Tampa champion had to settle for second.

With five laps to go in the race, Aukland was running third behind Bloomquist and Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky. Aukland passed Francis for second on lap 46 and then began his charge to the front, bringing the standing-room-only crowd to its feet for the last lap shootout.

When the white flag fell, Aukland looked to Bloomquist’s inside, but the leader took his car to the bottom groove for the first time in the race. Aukland was able to get another run on Bloomquist on the inside running down the backstretch, and this time got to the third turn first, moving under Bloomquist for the lead to the checkered flag.

Francis hung on for third with fourth going to Dan Schlieper of Pewaukee, Wis. And fifth going to Wendell Wallace of Batesville, Ark.

Gary Webb of Blue Grass, Iowa, took fast time honors of the 47 entrants, touring the half-mile dirt oval in 21.319 seconds. Heat winners were Aukland, Bloomquist, Schlieper, and Billy Moyer Jr. of Batesville, Ark. Consolation winners were Kenny Merchant of Ruston, La., and Skip Arp of Georgetown, Tenn.

Results –

1. Rick Aukland, Fargo, N.D.
2. Scott Bloomquist, Mooresburg, Tenn.
3. Steve Francis, Ashland, Ky.
4. Dan Schlieper, Pewaukee, Wis.
5. Wendell Wallace, Batesville, Ark.
6. Ray Cook, Brasstown, N.C.
7. Brian Birkhofer, Muscatine, Iowa
8. Gary Webb, Blue Grass, Iowa
9. Bart Hartman, Zanesville, Ohio
10.Donnie Moran, Dresden, Ohio
11.Shannon Babb. Decatur, Ill.
12.Freddie Smith, Knoxville, Tenn.
13.Bob Pierce, Oakwood, Ill.
14.Rick Eckert, York, Penn.
15.Bill Frye, Greenbrier, Ark.
16.Skip Arp, Georgetown, Tenn.
17.Earl Pearson Jr., Jacksonville, Fla.
18.Dale McDowell, Rossville, Ga.
19.Dennis Erb Jr., Carpentersville, Ill.
20.Tim Hitt, Weston, W.Va.
21.Billy Moyer Jr., Batesville, Ark.
22.Denny Eckrich, Coralville, Iowa
23.Marshall Green, Dalton, Ga.
24.Kenny Merchant, Ruston, La.

1958 – Sachs Wins at Terre Haute

Eddie Sachs poses with car owner Bill Cheesman in victory lane after winning at Terre Haute.

Terre Haute, Ind. (June 22, 1958) – Eddie Sachs chalked up his second straight auto racing victory Sunday, winning the 30-lap race at the Vigo County Fairgrounds.

The Center Valley, Penn., driver, who won the Langhorne 100-miler last week, won in the Cheesman Special and set a new track record of 12 minutes and 45 seconds in the process.

In a race free of accidents, Sachs took the lead from Jim McWithey of Anderson, Ind., on the 20th lap. McWithey was the fast qualifier with a record-breaking 74.096 miles per hour around the half-mile dirt oval.

Results –

1. Eddie Sachs, Center Valley, Penn.
2. Tommy Hinnershitz, Oley, Penn.
3. Jim McWithey, Anderson, Ind.
4. Elmer George, Indianapolis
5. A.J. Foyt, Houston, Tex.
6. Ed Elisian, Oakland, Calif.
7. Len Sutton, Portland, Ore.
8. Bob Wente, St. Louis, Mo.
9. Ralph Liguori, Tampa, Fla.
10.Bud Randall, Mitchell, Ind.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

1970 – Fryar Upsets Derr at Shreveport

Freddy Fryar

Shreveport, La. (June 21, 1970) – “I finally found the right combination of tires to be adaptable to the new asphalt,” commented Freddy Fryar.

The Baton Rouge racing ace surprised a huge throng of spectators by conquering 10-time IMCA national stock car champion Ernie Derr in the 50-lap feature at State Fair Speedway on Sunday afternoon.

“I’ve been trying to beat Derr for about six different races. It sure feels good to finally beat him.”

The time for the feature set a new national IMCA standard of 18 minutes and 43.13 seconds. Fryar also holds the 10-lap record.

Fryar said he wasn’t surprised that Derr didn’t deliver any pressure in Sunday’s feature. Derr had been experiencing tire trouble of his own throughout the 50-lapper.

The feature concluded the three phases of the IMCA Captain Shreve Trophy Series. Bud Carson, the owner and promoter of Mar-Car, Inc., of Oklahoma City presented the feature trophy to Fryar. However, on total points, Derr was the Shreve champion. Derr finished with 1,125 points to Fryar’s 1,035.

Fryar grabbed the feature lead on lap 4 with Derr right on his tailpipe. At times, the two drivers were side-by-side util Fryar stepped on the accelerator and pulled away to insure the verdict.

Irv Janey of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was third and Fred Horn of Marion, Iowa, took fourth.

Fryar posted fast time in qualifying with a time of 22.19 seconds followed by Derr’s 22.23 seconds.

Derr won the first 12-lap heat race in 4 minutes and 48.55 seconds. Fryar won the second heat in 4 minutes and 35.82 seconds. Joe Holley of Port Vincent was the third heat winner in 4 minutes and 35.6 seconds. Janey won the 10-lap trophy dash in 3 minutes and 45.66 seconds.

After the feature, Derr appeared to be concerned over his troubles. He commented that he “ran into rubber difficulty” and his tires were not acting as they should.

Results –

1. Freddy Fryar, Baton Rouge
2. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
3. Irv Janey, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
4. Fred Horn, Marion, Iowa
5. Ray Putnam, Baton Rouge
6. Joe Holley, Port Vincent
7. Royce Whitlock, West Monroe
8. Tony Bettenhausen Jr., Houston, Tex.
9. Jerry Johns, Minden
10.Wayne McGee, Bastrop
11.Ray Ingalls, Longview
12.Sandy Sandstrom, Kansas City
13.Vern Covert, Topeka, Kan.
14.Ronnie Chumley, Houston, Tex.
15.Gene Newsome, West Monroe

1961 – Goldsmith Captures Illiana Feature

Paul Goldsmith (far left) and Ray Nichels (far right) after the pair put together a USAC stock car victory at Illiana Motor Speedway. - Stan Kalwasinski Collection

Schererville, Ind. (June 21, 1961) – Paul Goldsmith, known as a conservative driver in the Memorial Day 500-mile race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but a “charger” in late model stock cars, tore to the front of the 18-car field Wednesday night and captured the 15-mile (30 laps) United States Auto Club stock car race at Illiana Speedway.

The St. Clair Shores, Mich., pilot drove a 1961 Pontiac owned by Ray Nichels Engineering of Highland, Ind., and beat second place finisher Don White of Keokuk, Iowa, to the checkered flag by a quarter of a mile.

Over 3,000 racing fans watched as Les Snow of Bloomington, Ill., narrowly edged Whitey Johnson of Hammond, Ind., for third place. White maneuvered a 1960 Ford, Snow and Johnson 1960 Pontiacs.

Owner Harry Molenaar’s half-mile dirt strip was rated extremely fast and as one USAC official put it, “If you don’t like the kind of show the boys put on tonight, you just don’t like racing.”

The track was so fast that Illiana’s previous record for qualifying, 27.32 seconds, was topped by seven drivers with Goldsmith holding the new record of 26.32 seconds.

White won the 4-lap trophy dash with Bill Cheesbourg following. Snow also won the 8-lap first heat. Elmer Musgrave of Niles, Ill., won the second 8-lap heat and Johnson won the third heat. Ted Hane of Chicago won the 10-lap consolation.

The chief engineer for Goldsmith’s car is Ray Nichels who served as his chief mechanic last year at Indianapolis. Second in command was Dale “Tiny” Worley who was the top pit man for Jim Hurtubise this year at Indianapolis.

The Goldsmith crew had its problems early on in the evening. A tank proved to be filled with water and the car’s gas tank had to be drained and the carburetor had to be torn down and cleaned. Later, a jack slipped while changing a tire, but no one was underneath the car at the time.

Results –

1. Paul Goldsmith, St. Clair Shores, Mich.
2. Don White, Keokuk, Iowa
3. Les Snow, Bloomington, Ill.
4. Whitey Johnson, Hammond, Ind.
5. Norm Nelson, Racine, Wis.
6. Ken Finley, Summit, Ill.
7. Don O’Dell, Palo Heights, Ill.
8. Ted Hane, Chicago
9. Jack Holbrook, Melrose Park, Ill.
10.Skip Michaels, Chicago
11.Don Swenson, Chicago
12.Gordon Gorman, Libertyville, Ill.
13.Dave Lundman, Libertyville, Ill.
14.Dave Whitcomb, Valparaiso, Ind.
15.Bill Shoulders, Waukegan, Ill.
16.Ed Meyer, Glenview, Ill.
17.Elmer Musgrave, Niles, Ill.
18.Bill Cheesbourg, Tucson, Ariz.

Monday, June 20, 2022

1970 – ‘Retiree’ Nelson Wins Indiana Classic

Norm Nelson is presented the Gus Grissom Memorial Trophy after winning the Indiana Classic. - Doug Schellinger Collection

Indianapolis, Ind. (June 20, 1970) – Wily Norm Nelson, a 25-year stock car veteran, came out of retirement to win the 100-mile Indiana Classic for United States Auto Club stock cars at the Indiana State Fairgrounds on Saturday in a substitute role for the injured Roger McCluskey.

Nelson, the all-time stock car division point leader, posted a nine-second win over A.J. Foyt in winning his 31st career stock car event in what had to be one of the wildest races ever staged on the one-mile dirt oval.

Jack Bowsher, Springfield, Ohio, escaped injury in a spectacular flip on the backstretch on the 70th lap. Bowsher, owner of the cars driven by Foyt and himself, slid sideways onto the guardrail at the top of the backstretch and rolled along the rail in a shower of sparks.

After flipping at least three times, the car landed upright. Bowsher was removed from the car and placed in an ambulance but got no farther than the pit area where he was pronounced okay.

Prior to his accident, Bowsher was running fourth behind Butch Hartman, Nelson, and Foyt. At almost the same time as the accident, the engine in Hartman’s Dodge Charger let go, dropping him from the competition.

Nelson inherited the lead at that point, and when the green flag came out again on lap 80, he pulled steadily away from Foyt to win by almost a full straightaway. Nelson averaged only 69.627 miles per hour for the 100-mile contest.

Newcomer Lem Blankenship, Keokuk, Iowa, finished third in a Plymouth, followed by Dave Whitcomb, Valparaiso, Ind., in a Dodge. Verlin Eaker of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, rounded out the top five piloting a Dodge.

Hartman, Foyt, and Nelson were the only three drivers to lead the race. Hartman, the fastest qualifier of the day, got the jump in the first turn when the race started and led the first three laps before Whitey Gerkin, Villa Park, Ill., spun his Chevelle into the turn three guard-rail, ripping out a 60-foot section.

The race was halted for 40 minutes while repairs were made. When the green flag returned on the 15th lap, Foyt moved around Hartman going into the third turn and led until the 35th circuit when he pitted under yellow for his mandatory pit stop.

Hartman took the lead again with Nelson second, Blankenship third, Whitcomb fourth and Don White fifth.

White, driving a Dodge Charger, was a solid contender until he began losing ground at the halfway point. Finally, on the 64th lap, his engine came apart on the backstretch. The underside of the car caught fire and White’s car resembled a fireball as it moved down the backstretch. The fire blew itself out and White limped the car to the pits unhurt.

Results –

1. Norm Nelson
2. A.J. Foyt
3. Lem Blankenship
4. Dave Whitcomb
5. Verlin Eaker
6. Roger Regeth
7. Bruce Gould
8. Larry Berwanger
9. Woody Walcher
10.Tom Klippel
11.Len Blanchard
12.Lefty Robinson
13.George Giesen
14.Paul Feldner
15.Tom Jones

Sunday, June 19, 2022

1965 – Beauchamp in Vinton victory

Johnny Beauchamp

Vinton, Iowa (June 19, 1965) – Some 2,475 fans jammed into the Benton County Fairgrounds on Saturday night to watch Johnny Beauchamp of Atlantic, Iowa, win the second heat and the 20-lap modified feature.

The races were marred by a series of accidents, including a rollover that sent which sent Gordon Young of Vinton the hospital with a back injury.

John Connolly of Delhi and Lee Kunzman of Guttenberg were also heat winners in the modified division. The “A” semi was won by Les Johnson of Vinton and the “B” semi winner was Darrell Dake of Cedar Rapids.

Bill Stockman of Oxford won the novice feature. Bill Bledhorn of Cedar Rapids and Larry Bell of Central City were heat winners.

Keith Knaack, the Mid-Continent Racing Association track manager, announced that an organization meeting would be set for Tuesday for a new “Cadet” class.

Results –

Novice –

Heat #1 – Bill Bledhorn, Cedar Rapids
Heat #2 – Larry Bell, Central City
Feature –
1. Bill Stockman, Oxford
2. Bill Bledhorn
3. Harold Emerson, Cedar Rapids
4. Roger Lacoursiere, Waterloo
5. Glen Dale Geiger, Vinton

Modified –

Heat #1 – Johnny Beauchamp, Atlantic
Heat #2 – John Connolly, Delhi
Heat #3 – Lee Kunzman, Guttenberg
A Semi – Les Johnson, Vinton
B Semi – Darrell Dake, Cedar Rapids
Feature –
1. Johnny Beauchamp
2. Red Droste, Waterloo
3. Mert Williams, Rochester, Minn.
4. John Connolly
5. Darrell Dake
6. Cal Swanson, Reinbeck
7. Jim Schmuecker, Vinton

Saturday, June 18, 2022

1967 - Ruby Captures Langhorne ‘100’ Before 26,235

Lloyd Ruby

Langhorne, Penn. (June 18, 1967) - Al Unser and Lloyd Ruby put on a two-man show yesterday at Langhorne Speedway before 26,235 fans. They each led for half the 100-mile national championship car race.

Unfortunately for Unser, however, he led the first half. Ruby, driving a brand-new car, took over the lead on the 53rd lap and led the rest of the way.

He crossed the finish line in 52 minutes and 55.16 seconds, setting a new track record for the distance. The average speed was 113.380 miles per hour.

This shattered the former mark, set by Don Branson, back in 1962, when Langhorne was still a dirt track. Branson’s record was 57 minutes and 15.13 seconds (104.799 miles per hour).

While still on the subject of records, Al Unser set a world’s record for one mile on a one-mile speedway when he was clocked at 29 seconds flat during time trials. His average speed of 124.137 miles per hour topped Mario Andretti’s existing record of 123.839 miles per hour set in August of 1966 at Langhorne.

Although the race was held under cloudy skies, it did not start to rain until 45 minutes after Ruby took the checkered flag.

Sunday’s purse was $30,000, with the winner getting 25%, about $7,500, plus accessory money.

Ruby jumped into the lead when the 22-car field received the green flag, but Unser regained it before the first lap was completed. The Albuquerque, N.M. driver stayed in front of Ruby until lap 53. Ruby would charge into the lead and build up a five-second margin by lap 75.

At the end of 90 miles, Ruby had stretched his margin to nine seconds and at the finish, the Wichita Falls, Tex., veteran was 11 seconds ahead of Unser.

Mario Andretti of Nazareth, Penn., was third. He, along with Ruby and Unser were the only drivers to complete the 100 laps.

That was considered quite the feat by Andretti, who was still feeling below par because of rib injuries suffered the week before in a race at Le Mans, France.

The next four finishers – Gordon Johncock, A.J. Foyt, Bobby Unser and Joe Leonard – all completed 98 circuits.

Results –

1. Lloyd Ruby, Wichita Falls, Tex.
2. Al Unser, Albuquerque, N.M
3. Mario Andretti, Nazareth, Penn.
4. Gordon Johncock, Hastings, Mich.
5. A.J. Foyt, Houston, Tex.
6. Bobby Unser, Albuquerque, N.M
7. Joe Leonard, San Jose, Calif.
8. Bud Tingelstad, Indianapolis
9. Norm Brown, Grand Rapids, Mich.
10.Johnny Rutherford, Ft. Worth, Tex.

Friday, June 17, 2022

1979 – Trickle Tops WIR 50

Dick Trickle won the "Red" race at Kaukauna. - Pete Vercauteren Collection

Kaukauna, Wis. (June 17, 1979) – Dick Trickle, utilizing the high groove, scored a thrilling half-car-length win over Mike Miller in the first race of the Red, White and Blue State Championship Series for late model stock cars on Sunday afternoon at Wisconsin International Raceway.

With a Father’s Day crowd of 4,278 fans in the stands, Trickle took the lead on the 43rd lap after a race-long battle with Miller, Tom Reffner and Dave Watson.

“The second groove wasn’t being used much by the other drivers,” remarked Trickle. Trickle, who has won series point championships previously in 1972, 1977 and 1978, added that the win didn’t come easy.

“I wasn’t out there playing. They sure didn’t give me that race. I worked for it,” he indicated after climbing out of his 1977 Superamerica Firebird.

Jerry Eckhardt came off his front row starting berth to lead the opening lap before being overtaken by Steve Burgess. Burgess opened up a seven-second lead over the rest of the pack by lap 8.

Meanwhile, Miller, Trickle and Reffner were working their way through the field. Miller took over the fourth spot on lap 10 and grabbed third away from Tom Musgrave on the 12th round.

On lap 15 Miller slipped to the inside of Jim Sauter to move into second place. Trickle and Reffner flowed Miller past Sauter on the inside.

By this time, Burgess had pulled to a quarter-lap lead, but the yellow flag waved on lap 17, slicing Burgess’s lead to just one-car-length on the restart.

Miller was able to slip his 1978 Olds Cutlass to the inside coming down the front stretch of the half-mile paved oval on lap 20. Trickle and Reffner also ducked under Burgess a lap later.

Watson tried a similar maneuver, but his car broke loose going into the first turn of the 23rd lap as he and Burgess tangled into a wild spin un the second turn.

Burgess was dropped to the rear of the pack on the restart and eventually finished eighth.

Reffner held down the second spot behind Miller until lap 41 when Trickle made a successful outside pass to claim the number two spot. Trickle remained in the high groove and passed Miller two laps later.

Miller kept glued to Trickle’s rear bumper right down to the finish but could not overhaul him. Reffner placed third with Watson in fourth. The top four drivers all crossed the finish line within two second of each other.

Results –

1. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids
2. Mike Miller, Wisconsin Rapids
3. Tom Reffner, Rudolph
4. Dave Watson, Milton
5. Larry Detjens, Wausau
6. John Knaus, Rockford, Ill.
7. Tony Strupp, Slinger
8. Steve Burgess, Eau Claire
9. Jim Sauter, Necedah
10.Alan Kulwicki, Milwaukee
11.Fred Bender, Sun Prairie
12.Dave Evans, Crystal Lake, Ill.
13.Al Schill, Franklin
14.Jerry Eckhardt, Watertown
15.Orv Buelow, Rudolph

Thursday, June 16, 2022

1976 – Steuding Runs Away with Big Invitational Purse

Tom Steuding

Eau Claire, Wis. (June 16, 1976) - There was just no one who was going to catch Altoona’s White Knight Wednesday night at the River City Raceway.

Flashing too much power on the straightaways and too much class in the turns, Tom Steuding sped off to win the Bicentennial Invitational 40-lap feature and $1,000 in the process.

The defending Wisconsin Dirt Track Series champion started from the pole, took the lead on the second lap and then showed nothing but his rear bumper to a feature field of 20 cars.

Mondovi’s Leon Plank, winner of both Invitational features here last year, recovered from a shaky start to take $700 second money when Eau Claire’s Red Steffen developed car problems on the last two laps.

Steffen had moved up from his fourth row start to take second late in the race but dropped back to fourth place, finishing behind Duluth’s Jim Eliason at the finish.

Eliason picked up $475 while Steffen, the late model point-leader at River City this season, was left with $260.

But the real hard luck driver was Eau Claire’s Phil Prusak. The driver was engaged in a three-man duel with Steuding and Plank for first place when he was bumped on the north turn of the 34th lap by Altoona's Punky Manor and spun out.

With Prusak sitting dangerously on the track, flag man Jack Rada brought out the red and the race was stopped. Upon resumption, Prusak was forced back into eighth place, sitting ahead of only the lapped cars. He wound up at the finish in seventh with $125.

For Steuding, driving a 1976 Camaro owned by George Jacobson, it was his eighth feature win of the season.

He turned in the fastest time trial at 18.11 seconds, slightly off his track record of 17.61, and began the feature from the pole with Plank sitting on the outside.

But the first lap ended in confusion on the south turn and the red went out. In the process, Plank suffered a flat tire and action was held up for repairs.

Plank took advantage of the situation to jump ahead on the restart first lap but Steuding sped past on the second lap to take the lead and Prusak moved into second on the fourth lap.

The three cars pulled slowly away from the field and by the halfway point, had a lot of breathing space. They started lapping the field the 23rd time around.

All the time, Steuding was widening his lead and by the 30th lap he was pulling away. Plank passed Prusak on the 32nd to become the main challenger and two laps later, Prusak spun out and the race was stopped.

When action resumed, it was Steuding, Plank and Steffen at the head of the field and Steffen made his move on the 36th, passing Plank to take second.

But Steffen suddenly lost his power on the 38th and Plank roared back into the runner-up spot, Steffen dropping to fourth at the checkered flag

Steuding, previously, had raced across the finish line with a solid margin, however.

Bob Lawrence of St Croix Beach, Minn., came in fifth and Tom Nesbitt of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, sixth, just ahead of Prusak

A crowd of 1,100 fans witnessed the extravaganza in chilly June weather.

Results –

1. Tom Steuding
2. Leon Plank, Mondovi
3. Jim Eliason, Duluth, Minn.
4. Red Steffen, Eau Claire
5. Bob Lawrence, St. Croix Beach, Minn.
6. Tom Nesbitt, Thunder Bay, Ontario
7. Phil Prusak, Eau Claire
8. Skip Splittstoesser, St. Paul, Minn.
9. Roger Turk, Eleva
10.John Foegen, Winona, Minn.

1957 – Elisian Wins Fairgrounds Sprint Race

Ed Elisian 

Terre Haute, Ind. (June 16, 1957) - Ed Elisian of Oakland, Calif., beat out Don Branson of Champaign, Ill., in the 30-lap sprint car feature at the Vigo County Fairgrounds here Sunday after early leaders Pat O’Connor, of North Vernon, Ind., and Andy Linden of Indianapolis, were stopped by mechanical trouble.

A sellout crowd of approximately 7,500 race fans were on hand for the big car race program. Five Indianapolis “500” veterans were in the race.

Elmer George of Indianapolis spun out on the ninth lap around the half-mile track in the only accident of the race. He was not injured.

Elisian’s time in the United States Auto Club-sanctioned race was 13 minutes and 26.30 seconds. Elisian started on the inside of the fourth row and went in front on about the fifteenth lap after favorites O’Connor and Linden were forced out with mechanical trouble.

The hard driving California driver had some trouble getting around Branson who held the lead for several laps after O’Connor went out on the fifth lap with fuel pump trouble.

Only seven of the 14 cars which started the race finished.

Results –

1. Ed Elisian, Oakland, Calif.
2. Don Branson, Champaign, Ill.
3. Rex Easton, Springfield, Ill.
4. Dick Leisure, Indianapolis
5. Bob Veith, Oakland, Calif.
6. Len Sutton, Portland, Ore.
7. Pete Allen, Dayton, Ohio
8. Toon McCullen, Dayton, Ohio
9. Andy Linden, Indianapolis
10.Jim McWithey, Anderson, Ind.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

1968 – Fairgrounds Feature to Williams

Mert Williams

Des Moines, Iowa (June 15, 1968) – It took four restarts and approximately an hour, but Mert Williams of Rochester, Minn., won the late model stock car feature at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Saturday night before 3,327 fans.

Carl Vander Wal of Ames also captured his consecutive 15-lap sportsman feature.

Seven cars were involved in chain reaction accidents on the first lap of the late model feature. Bob Dishman of Des Moines triggered one pileup when he spun coming out of the fourth turn.

On the second lap, another four cars collided when Bill McDonough of Cedar Rapids spun trying to avoid a spinning Dick Nesteby of Dubuque. McDonough cause another delay by complaining about his restart position.

Lem Blankenship of Keokuk led, until Williams, in a 1965 Chevelle, took over on lap 7. Verlin Eaker of Cedar Rapids, whose 1967 Dodge was involved in two separate accidents, started 12th, and finished second.

Bill Moyer of Des Moines won his very first race, an 8-lap heat event with his $9,000 1968 Corvette.

Results –


Heat #1 – Fred Knapp, Des Moines
Heat #2 – Carl Vander Wal, Ames
Semi-main – Lee Pinckney, Des Moines
Feature –
1. Carl Vander Wal
2. Lynn Komrie, Van Meter
3. Lee Pinckney
4. George Derry, Des Moines
5. Alan Wallace, Stuart
6. Don Hoffman, Des Moines
7. Chuck Berg, Des Moines
8. Denny Baker, Des Moines

Late Model 

Heat #1 – Billy Moyer, Des Moines
Heat #2 – Dean Montgomery, Milan, Ill.
Semi-main – John Connolly, Delhi
Feature –
1. Mert Williams, Rochester
2. Verlin Eaker, Cedar Rapids
3. Bill McDonough, Cedar Rapids
4. Dean Montgomery
5. Buzz McCann, St. Paul, Minn.
6. Darrel Dake, Cedar Rapids
7. Roger Dolan, Lisbon
8. Dick Nesteby, Dubuque
9. Chuck Berg, Des Moines
10.John Connolly

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

1981 – Webb dominates Blue Ribbon 100

Gary Webb

East Moline, Ill. (June 14, 1981) – If Davenport’s Gary Webb ever gets a complete day behind the wheel of a healthy race car, the results could be disastrous for his opponents at East Moline Speedway.

Webb, who first started his car at 5:30 p.m., Sunday after making some cam-shaft adjustments, saw it run well enough to capture the $1,500 first prize in the second annual Pabst Blue Ribbon 100.

Webb wasn’t seriously challenged for much of the second half of the race, maintaining a quarter of lap lead over Roger Dolan of Lisbon, Rollie Frink of Davenport and Ed Sanger of Waterloo.

Webb’s dominance was made evident by the way the field bunched up during one of the frequent red lights. Despite having other drivers pull on his rear bumper at the restarts, Webb continually stretched out a long lead within two or three laps.

“The car ran fine during the race – no problems,” he said in victory lane. However, things were different on Saturday night.

“Last night, we were running terrible, but we finished third, which made it hard to convince anyone of it.”

The weekend’s cloudy weather cleared for the start of the race, and the track looked hard and fast down the middle.

However, that didn’t seem to matter to Webb, who stayed high up on the banking through many of the turns and then dropped too the middle on the straightaways. The only time this tactic didn’t work was after a red-light restart on lap 53, when Dolan went low under Webb to take the top spot – but only for two laps.

Webb, thereafter, caught Dolan going too high in the third turn, dove low under him and stayed in first place for the remainder of the race.

Webb’s biggest competition might have been that which left earliest.

Mike Chasteen of Peoria, Ill., came off his pole position starting spot to lead the first 10 laps but was disqualified for having his car worked on during a red-light situation.

Webb’s car was so far ahead for most of the contest that the most interesting race was for second place.

From laps 78 to 84, Tom Hearst and Frink literally went bumper-to-bumper in the most exciting contest of the night. About 10 laps later, Sanger and Dolan were door handle to door handle, with Sanger edging ahead enough to capture runner-up honors but still finishing well behind Webb.

Because of Webb’s tremendous advantage, his main concern was keeping the car in one piece until the finish.

“I wanted the race to get over with,” he remarked afterwards. “I kept thinking, ‘if I could go faster, the race will get over sooner.’”

Results –

1. Gary Webb, Davenport
2. Ed Sanger, Waterloo
3. Roger Dolan, Lisbon
4. Tom Hearst, Wilton
5. Rollie Frink, Davenport
6. Dan Bennett, Peoria
7. Dick Schiltz, Waterloo
8. Doug Crawford, Genesco
9. Jim Sandusky, Coal Valley
10.Keith Remley, Blue Grass

Monday, June 13, 2022

1965 – Stott, Smith Speed to Bunyan Triumphs

Ramo Stott

Minneapolis, Minn. (June 13, 1965) – Like thousands of others, Ramo Stott took advantage of a warm, sunshine-filled day and went for a pleasant Sunday afternoon drive.

Unlike other motorists who toured the state, Stott ended his junket by picking up a check for $1,900 as he won the 300-lap feature stock car event in the inaugural Paul Bunyan “400” that attracted 17,723 cash paying customers to the Minnesota State Fair Speedway.

The 30-year-old veteran from Keokuk, Iowa, piloted his 1965 Plymouth around the half-mile course with the skill of an astronaut, ending the affair almost as soon as it started. Holding the pole position, he tromped on the accelerator and led all the way, passing the entire field three times en route to the finish line.

He made only two pit stops but held such a wide margin over runner-up Lenny Funk of Otis, Kan., that he could have made more, or stopped off at Howard Johnson’s.

Stott set three new records, listed as “world records,” by the International Motor Contest Association.

He completed 25 laps in 9 minutes and 49.07 seconds to better the mark of 10 minutes and 0.89 seconds set at last year’s State Fair by Dick Hutcherson.

He finished 250 laps in 1 hour, 44 minutes and 13.25 seconds and won the race in 2 hours, 4 minutes, and 12.05 seconds – records because no IMCA race had been run at those distances. He averaged 73 miles per hour.

“I felt I could win, if my car held up,” Stott said. Sure, it was a big race, but I’m shooting for something bigger this year.”

“For the past five years, I’ve finished second in the national stock car point standings, and I want to win it. I’m second now, but I’ve won three of the last seven races and I think I can win more.”

Ernie Derr, a neighbor of Stott’s in Keokuk, finished fourth and leads the national point standings. Derr collected $850.

Funk collected $1,400 for his second-place finish while Ole Brua of Albert Lea, Minn., picked up $1,100 for third place.

Harold Smith

Harold Smith of Dayton, Ohio, captured the first half of the twin-bill, by winning the 100-lap sprint car feature, which like the stock car feature, was caution free. He took home $1,800 for his efforts.

Smith let others set the pace while he won the race. He, too, held the pole position and led the first three turns before being passed by Oscar Fay of Mishawaka, Ind. Fay held the top spot until lap 24 when Dean Mast of Toledo, Ohio, passed him.

Mast, the only driver to compete in both affairs, set “world records” for 25 and 50 laps with clocking’s of 9 minutes and 6.46 seconds and 18 minutes and 15.12 seconds. But on the 87th lap, he was trapped by two slower cars, giving Smith a chance to catch up.

Smith powered past Mast on lap 90 and won in 36 minutes and 40.82 seconds, averaging 81 miles per hour. He did not make a pit stop in his Buick-powered sprinter.

Mast, who dropped out of the stock race with engine woes, settled for second and collected $1,250 while Fay made a pit stop to change a tire and finished 13th.

“I didn’t think I had a chance to catch Mast until he got bogged down in traffic,” Smith admitted. “It was sure nice to win my first race of the year.”

Results –

Stock Car

1. Ramo Stott, Keokuk, Iowa
2. Lenny Funk, Otis, Kan.
3. Ole Brua, Albert Lea, Minn.
4. Ernie Derr, Keokuk, Iowa
5. Dave Steffen, Minneapolis

Sprint Car

1. Harold Smith, Dayton, Ohio
2. Dean Mast, Dover, Ohio
3. Jerry Weld, Kansas City, Mo.
4. Red Amick, Muncie, Ind.
5. Gordon Woolley, Waco, Tex.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

1975 – Larson Tops Chateau Sprints

Roger Larson

Lansing, Minn. (June 12, 1975) – Roger Larson was the best of 18 Midwest Sprint Association drivers that started the 20-lap feature Thursday night at Chateau Speedway as he took the lead on lap 4 and held it to the checkers.

Polesitter Larry Kirkpatrick took the early lead and held it for three laps. On the fourth circuit, Larson, who started fourth, shot into the lead coming out of the fourth turn.

A see-saw battle ensued between Larson and Kilpatrick, but the Sioux Falls, S.D., native held on to claim the spoils.

Several restarts were required during the race as holes developed in the track. On lap 8, Junior Guetnetch slammed into John Stevenson, who had spun between turns one and two. Stevenson suffered a knee injury an both drivers were out of action for the rest of the night.

Two controversial incidents occurred in the night’s action. Bob Hop was black-flagged for spinning between the third and fourth turns midway through the main event. On the white flag lap, Bill Dollansky ran off the track and Denny Kowalik was left sitting sideways between the third and fourth turns as racing continued.

Results –

Heat #1 – Jerry Miller, Phoenix, Ariz.
Heat #2 – Larry Kirkpatrick, Wood River, Ill.
Semi-main – Denny Kowalik, Mound View
Feature –
1. Roger Larson, Taylor, Penn.
2. Larry Kirkpatrick
3. Barry Kettering, Princeton
4. Dennis Olson, Braham
5. Jerry Miller
6. Dick Forbrook, Morgan
7. Steve Schweitzberger, North St. Paul

Saturday, June 11, 2022

1977- Winchester Sprint Go Dominated by Bigelow

Winchester, Ind. (June 11, 1977) – Tom Bigelow combined a record-setting qualifying performance and a victory in the 40-lap USAC sprint car feature on Saturday night at Winchester Speedway to solidify his position at the top of the division’s point standings.

Bigelow started the evening by setting a new one-lap record for the half-mile, paved oval with a 15.689 second (114.730 miles per hour) clocking.

Bob Frey dealt Bigelow his lone setback of the evening by winning the first heat, but Bigelow’s second place finished earned him a starting spot in the 40-lap main.

Billy Cassella led the first 27 laps of the feature, but Bigelow took command on lap 28, and he was never headed.

Cassella came in second and was followed by Sheldon Kinser, who is second in the point standings. A pair of second-generation drivers, James McElreath and Dana Carter, placed fourth and fifth respectively.

Greg Leffler captured the semi-feature and Kinser, Larry Rice and Jeff Bloom were heat winners.

Results –

1. Tom Bigelow
2. Bill Cassella
3. Sheldon Kinser
4. James McElreath
5. Dana Carter
6. Joe Saldana
7. Bob Frey
8. Rollie Beale
9. Greg Leffler
10.Bruce Walkup

Friday, June 10, 2022

1958 – Knaack Tops Vinton Races


Keith Knaack

Vinton, Iowa (June 10, 1958) – Keith Knaack of Vinton won the 20-lap main event in the Cedar Valley Stock Car Association’s program at the Benton County Fairgrounds on Sunday afternoon.

Only six of the starting 19 cars finished the contest, which saw a leap-frog wreck involving Vern Weber of Waterloo and Dick Lyons of Van Horne.

Lytell Kyler of Brandon was fast qualifier with a time of 21.5 seconds on the quarter mile. Don Forrester of Dysart won the first heat and Shorty Hayward of Independence was the second heat winner. The third heat was copped by Les Johnson of Vinton and semi-main honors went to Don Hall of Urbana. Knaack also picked up another win in the novelty race.

A near capacity crowd was on hand to witness the six-event program.

Thursday, June 9, 2022

1957 – Grim Wins Muddy Futurity Race

Bobby Grim

Des Moines (June 9, 1957) — Bobby Grim, Indianapolis, Ind., the United States dirt track racing champion, Sunday won the Hawkeye Futurity at the Iowa State Fairgrounds here in a race delayed nearly two hours by a muddy track.

Grim pushed his big car through the .25-mile feature race in 23 minutes, 5.53 seconds to take his first victory in the Iowa racing classic.

Second place went to Cotton Farmer, Fort Worth, Tex., and third to Jerry Kemp, St. Louis Mo.

Fourth-place finisher Buzz Barton, Tampa, Fla., threatened to protest his placing, claiming he passed Kemp just as the starter gave winner Grim the checkered flag.

The race was sponsored by the International Motor Contest Association. Grim was ranked as the IMCA champion.

The Futurity race was delayed or nearly two hours while track officials worked to get the muddy dirt oval in shape for the high-powered cars.

Despite the muddy condition of the track, only one accident occurred during the afternoon. During the time trials, John Parker, Shakopee, Minn., flipped his car on a turn but was not hurt in the mishap.

The best time trial of the afternoon was turned in by Don Carr, Detroit, who turned in a lap in 25.41 seconds.

In the feature race, Carr led briefly but was forced out by engine trouble.

Results –

1. Bobby Grim
2. Cotton Farmer
3. Jerry Kemp
4. Buzz Barton
5. Leon Hubble
6. Vern Chamberlain
7. Vic Ellis
8. Leon Clum
9. Johnny Pouelson
10.Don Carr
11.Harold Haberling
12.A.J. Foyt
13.Harry Kern
14.Ed Loetscher
15.Mickey McCormick
16.Chuck Marshall
17.Jim Wegescheider
18.Bob Cleburg

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

1979 - Stott dominates Memphis feature


Memphis, Mo. (June 8, 1979) – Ramo Stott of Keokuk captured the late model feature at Scotland County Speedway here Friday night.

Stott took the lead from John Babb of Ottumwa at the end of the second lap and was never headed.

Babb held onto second place with Mike Benjamin, John Miller and Gordy Blankenship, all of Keokuk, following. Karl Hinton of Drakesvile, Iowa took sixth place and Dave Marks of Ottumwa grabbed seventh.

A real duel developed between Larry “Pee Vine” Pipes and Bo Smith developed back in the back during the feature.

The two battled wheel-to-wheel for fifth place for 20 laps before Pipes dropped out. Two laps later, Smith also pitted.

Keokuk residents dominated the first heat as Stott, Blankenship and Miller to the first three spots.

Babb copped the second heat. Benjamin was runner-up, edging out Pipes, Jim Brown and Smith in a very close race.

Smith won the consolation and Brown was second far ahead of Marks and Jerry Whittom.

Results –

Heat #1 – Ramo Stott, Keokuk
Heat #2 – John Babb, Ottumwa
Heat #3 – Bo Smith, Hunnewell, Mo.
Feature –
1. Ramo Stott
2. John Babb
3. Mike Benjamin, Keokuk
4. John Miller, Keokuk
5. Gordon Blankenship, Keokuk
6. Karl Hinton, Drakesville, Iowa
7. Dave Marks, Ottumwa

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

1976 – Wally Jors Dies of Heart Attack

Wally Jors

Milwaukee, Wis. (June 7, 1976) – An autopsy Sunday showed auto racer Wally Jors, 34, of Fond du Lac died as the result of a massive heart attack just after finishing second in a 50-lap late model stock car race, the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office said.

Jors had collapsed after getting from his car in the pit area of the Hates Corners Speedway in suburban Franklin following the accident-free feature race Saturday evening.

He was pronounced dead on arrival at Milwaukee County General Hospital.

He had given up his job as an auto salesman earlier this year to race fulltime.

Survivors include his widow, Carol, and two children.

Saturday evening, Jors set a track record by qualifying at 63.25 miles per hour. He was also the first driver in track history to qualify over the one-third mile clay oval in under 19 seconds. His time was 18.95 seconds.

Jors, who had no previous history of heart trouble, took the season point lead for late models with 1,860 points.

Jors also took the point lead Wednesday after finishing second in the feature race at Cedarburg Speedway. He took fourth place in last year's Milwaukee area track standings, although he completed only part of the season.

Jors got his start in racing when he worked in Miles Melius' pit crew in 1961. Jors began racing himself in 1966 and was active on tracks in eastern and central Wisconsin.

Last year, Jors was second at Seymour and Oshkosh, third at Hales Comers, fifth at Wisconsin International Raceway at Kaukauna, and tenth at Cedarburg.

1970 – Futurity to Richert Despite Sour Engine

Jerry Richert accepts his trophy after winning the 1970 Hawkeye Futurity. Flagman Larry Shipley holds the checkers. - Beetle Bailey Photo

Des Moines, Iowa (June 7, 1970) – Jerry Richert of Forest Lake, Minn., erected a one-half lap lead in the early stages of the Hawkeye Futurity sprint car feature at the Iowa State Fairgrounds Sunday and it was a good thing.

Just after he took the white flag, which denotes the final lap, his engine went sour and to the estimated 5,200 wildly cheering fans it appeared he wouldn’t make it to the checkered flag.

But Richert nursed his Chevrolet-powered racer along and won the 30-lap event by approximately 150 yards over nearest competitor Dick Sutcliffe of Greenwood, Mo.

Richert, the four-time International Motor Contest Association (1964, ’65, ’66 and ’68), was near tears as his family gathered around to congratulate him.

The kisses he received from his wife Carol and daughters were probably most appreciated than any he ever received from a speedway queen, who so often makes the presentation of trophies.

Jay Woodside of Kansas City finished third and Jerry Blundy of Galesburg, Ill., was fourth. Eddie Leavitt of Kearney, Mo., rounded out the top five.

Richert, who had things his way most of the afternoon, said he didn’t know what happened to the engine.

“The temperature started rising midway in the race,” he said. “Then, just after I took the white flag, it started sputtering.”

“It might have been the magneto.”

Richert was the fastest qualifier with a time of 24.12 seconds around thee dirt half-mile.

He started last in the 6-car trophy dash and finished second. He started in the third row of the 20-car field for the feature.

The track condition was dry-slick and under those circumstances, there is usually very little passing.

However, Dave Ross of Jetmore, Kan., was not content to sit back. He would start in the eighth row and finish sixth.

The victory was worth $500 to Richert, who missed most of last season while recuperating from chest surgery. He had won one feature at the Florida State Fair in February. Sutcliffe was paid $400, Woodside $300, Blundy $200 and Leavitt $150.

Jan Opperman, the defending Hawkeye Futurity champion did not compete. Jerry Blundy had won the 1966 Futurity and Jim Moughan of Springfield, Ill., won in 1967. The ’68 race was canceled due to the assassination of Robert Kennedy.

Results –

Heat #1 – Jerry Richert, Forest Lake, Minn.
Heat #2 – Logan Light, Des Moines
Heat #3 – Dick Forbrook, Algona, Iowa
Match Race – Dick Sutcliffe, Greenwood, Mo.
Consolation – Stacy Redmond, Mason City, Iowa
Feature –
1. Jerry Richert
2. Dick Sutcliffe
3. Jay Woodside, Kansas City
4. Jerry Blundy, Galesburg, Ill.
5. Eddie Leavitt, Kearney, Mo.
6. Dave Ross, Jetmore, Kan.
7. Don Mack, East Grand Forks, Minn.
8. Benny Rapp, Toledo, Ohio
9. Jim Murphy, South Haven, Mich.
10. Chuck Lynch, Springfield, Ill.
11. Jim Moughan, Springfield, Ill.
12. Ralph Parkinson Sr., Wichita Falls, Tex.
13. Rick Ferkel, Findlay, Ohio
14. Don Hewitt, Troy, Ohio
15. Dick Forbrook
16. Bill Hudson, Montezuma, Iowa